Master of Science in Chemical Engineering

Application Deadlines

Spring 2018: September 15, 2017

Fall 2018: January 15, 2018

Chemical Engineering is the engineering discipline which makes extensive use of chemical transformations in addition to physical transformations to achieve added value. Because all manufacturing involves chemical transformations in one way or another, chemical engineers are employed in virtually all manufacturing industries, from the basic chemical, materials, energy, food, pharmaceutical and microelectronics industries to the myriad consumer products industries.
Students in the MS in Chemical Engineering program will take a number of advanced courses in key fundamental chemical engineering areas such as transport phenomena, applied mathematics, thermodynamics, kinetics and reaction engineering. In addition, students will select a number of electives courses to develop knowledge and expertise in specialized fields such as energy engineering, materials engineering, bioengineering, environmental engineering, engineering design, and control management.

Please Note: Requirements for graduation, course offerings, course availability, track offerings and any other degree requirements are subject to change. Students should consult with an academic advisor prior to registering for any classes.

  • A minimum of 28 units is required to earn the M.S. in Chemical Engineering degree
  • Required Core Courses: 12 units
  • Required Elective Core Courses: 6 units
  • Required Seminar Courses: 1 unit (0, 1 unit for two semesters)
  • Elective Courses: 9 units (must be approved by department)
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation
Detailed Program Curriculum and RequirementsSchedule of Classes

Fall 2019 (Scholarship Consideration Deadline)December 15, 2018
Fall 2019 (Final Deadline)January 15, 2019*
Spring 2019 (Scholarship Consideration Deadline)August 31, 2018
Spring 2019 (Final Deadline)September 15, 2018
*Applicants Interested in Online Delivery: Please contact to request an application extension for Fall 2018.
Visit our Application Deadlines page for more information.


  • An undergraduate degree in engineering, math or hard science* from a regionally-accredited university. Satisfactory cumulative undergraduate GPA (grade point average)
  • Satisfactory GRE test scores. All scores must be officially reported to the university directly by ETS.
  • Satisfactory performance in previous coursework related to the intended major.
  • *Students without a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering must have a minimum of math and science coursework in:
    • Calculus through Differential Equation
    • General, Organic, and Physical Chemistry
    • College-level, calculus-based Physics (Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Electricity & Magnetism)


Transcripts: Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.

GRE General Test: Satisfactory and valid test scores. Valid GRE scores must be dated within five years of the start of the intended application semester. The fall semester starts in August, and the spring semester starts in January. Official scores must be reported from ETS directly to USC using ETS school code 4852. A department code is not required.

Resume/CV (Required)

Statement of Purpose (Required): The statement of purpose should describe succinctly your reasons for applying to the proposed program at the Viterbi School of Engineering, your preparation for this field of study, study interests, future career plans, and other aspects of your background and interests which may aid the admissions committee in evaluating your aptitude and motivation for graduate study.

Letters of Recommendation (3 Required): Letters of recommendation should be from faculty or others (supervisors, professional colleagues, etc.) qualified to evaluate your potential for graduate study.


English Language Proficiency: In addition to the general admission criteria listed above, international students whose first language is not English are required to take the TOEFL or IELTS examination to be considered a candidate for admission. There is no minimum TOEFL or IELTS score required for admission to the Viterbi School. For possible exemption from additional language requirements, you must achieve an Internet Based TOEFL (iBT) score of 90, with no less than 20 on each section or an IELTS score of 6.5, with no less than 6 on each band score. For more details on English Proficiency Criteria for the University of Southern California, please visit USC Graduate Admission – Proficiency in English.

The following is an overview of the tuition & fees for graduate engineering students. Both on-campus and DEN@Viterbi students pay the same tuition.


Academic Year
Per Unit Rate
3-unit Course
4-unit Course
Fall 2017 - Summer 2018
Fall 2018 - Summer 2019



Fee Description
Fee Amount
Mandatory Fees (approximate)
Fall 2017: $450
Spring 2018: $400
Health Insurance
Fall 2017: $646
Spring 2018: $1,170
Norman Topping Student Aid Fee
ENGR Computing Access Fee (On-Campus students)
ENGR Computing Access Fee (DEN@Viterbi students)
Exam Proctoring
$40 - $100 per course
Detailed Information on Tuition & Fees
This program is also available online to professional engineers through DEN@Viterbi. Because the DEN@Viterbi program provides a fully equivalent academic experience, the degree a USC engineering student earns is the same whether they are on-campus or online.

If you are interested in beginning classes as a DEN@Viterbi student next semester, explore the requirements and steps to enrolling as a Limited Status Student.

Learn More About DEN@Viterbi
Detailed Program Curriculum and RequirementsSchedule of Classes


The following courses and program requirements serve as program planning for DEN@Viterbi students. Course offerings and availability are subject to change. Please consult with advisor if you have any questions.

Required Courses
All courses are required – 15 units total.
CHE 501 | Modeling and Analysis of Chemical Engineering (3 units)
CHE 530 | Thermodynamics for Chemical Engineers (3 units)
CHE 540 | Viscous Flow (3 units)
CHE 541 | Mass Transfer (3 units)
CHE 542 | Chemical Engineering Kinetics (3 units)
CHE 544 | Heat Transmission (3 units)
Elective Courses
Elective courses must be approved by the department.  Courses must be at the 500-level or above – 9 units total.
Seminar Courses
CHE 550a and CHE 550b are required for on-campus students.  DEN students living in the Los Angeles area who are capable of coming to campus for the CHE 550a and CHE 550b seminar classes may do so.  DEN students living outisde of Los Angeles will register in the on-campus section of CHE 590 and should contact the department for distance seminar instructions.
Prerequisite Courses 
Students without a B.S. in Chemical Engineering must complete the following prerequisite courses at USC: Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics (CHE 330), Separation Operations (CHE 350), Kinetics & Reaction Engineering (CHE 442), Viscous Flow (CHE 443), and Heat and Mass Transfer (CHE 445, 446). Units from these courses cannot be applied towards the M.S. in Chemical Engineering. Some of the above pre-requisite courses may be waived on a case-by-case basis (based on individual student’s undergraduate curriculum) upon consultation with the Department Advisor.
Please complete the following form for more information.